Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determination

November 24, 2017

MODEVITEAuthorities from La Candelaria, Municipality of San Cristobal de Las Casas. Photo @: SIPAZ

On November 20th, thousands of indigenous people grouped in the Movement in Defense of Life and the Territory (Modevite in its Spanish acronym) mobilized in 11 municipalities and an ejido of Chiapas in defense of Mother Earth, for a dignified life and to demand respect for the free self-determination of indigenous peoples. In a statement, they explained: “We are one people who today want to express ourselves in each of the 12 fronts where we are. We denounce the constant threat of transnational extractive megaprojects and demand our right to the self-determination of peoples, in order to change the outdated and oppressive system that governs us.”

The event was called on 107 years of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, and stressed that “the marginalization and misery of our peoples persist; violence is the daily bread and insecurity is what is breathed in the environment. Coupled with this, the colorful circus of political parties divides us, and they take advantage of our poverty” while governments at all levels “are accomplices of dispossession, abuses, violence and injustice.”

For this reason they propose “creating another system that promotes the community rather than individuality, that looks at the earth as a Mother and not as merchandise, that embraces the cultural diversity rooted in the spirituality of our ancestors to make way for the reconstruction of the fabric of social community”. They intend to promote “community governments that renew social relations among indigenous peoples, mestizos, diverse religions, adults and youth; community governments that renew politics by exercising the right to elect the authorities according to the indigenous normative systems of each people, to combat corruption and division of bad governments and thus ensure the defense of our Mother Earth and community harmony.”

More specifically, they asked the authorities to respond positively to the requests presented by the Community Government Commissions of the municipalities of Chilon and Sitala to the Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute (IEPC in tis Spanish acronym) of Chiapas, on November 17th for that they can govern themselves according to their own indigenous normative system.

For more information in Spanish:

Indígenas de Chiapas denuncian amenaza constante de megaproyectos y ambición de trasnacionales (Proceso 20 de noviembre de 2017)

MODEVITE se expresa en sus 12 frentes y afirma su apoyo a los municipios de Chilón y Sitalá en su búsqueda del gobierno comunitario (MODEVITE 20 de noviembre de 2017)

Pronunciamiento de las Comisiones de Gobierno Comunitario de Chilón y Sitalá (Boletín de prensa del MODEVITE 18 de noviembre de 2017)

Comisiones de Sitalá y Chilón exigen al IEPC respetar su derecho al Gobierno Comunitario, sin partidos políticos (Anuncio de Conferencia de prensa del MODEVITE 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Pronunciamiento de MOVEDITE ante las campañas políticas anticipadas (22 de agosto de 2017)

Chiapas : Culmina peregrinación de 12 días del Movimiento de Defensa de la Vida y el Territorio en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (29 de noviembre de 2016)

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National/International: Visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Mexico Ends

November 23, 2017

UNPhoto: @frayba

From November 5th to 17th, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, indigenous leader of the Philippines, made an official visit to Mexico, which included the capitals of the states of Guerrero, Chiapas and Chihuahua. She met with more than 200 representatives of 23 indigenous peoples, civil organizations defending their rights and officials at all levels.

At the end of his visit, she declared that “the current inadequate legal recognition of indigenous peoples as holders of rights, together with structural discrimination, are at the basis of all the issues and concerns” in the areas “lands and territories; autonomy, self-determination and political participation; self-ascription of indigenous peoples; access to justice; violence and impunity; the right to determine their development priorities; consultation and free, prior and informed consent; economic, social and cultural rights, and the particular situation of specific sectors of indigenous peoples.” While acknowledging “Mexico’s support for advancing the indigenous agenda in international forums,” “this commitment must be coherent and should be reflected in the application of these standards in Mexico.”

On the controversial issue of the consultation, she said that “even in the absence of national legislation on this issue, Mexico already has the obligation to consult indigenous peoples on any activity or legislative or administrative measures that could affect them according to the standards of the ILO Convention 169, the Inter-American jurisprudence and the UN Declaration. The adoption of specific legislation is not the only mechanism to apply the right to consultation and the fact that there is no single model for consultation should also be taken into account, since each indigenous people has its own authorities and decision-making processes.”

The rapporteur also stressed that “the initiatives of indigenous peoples in the area of ​​autonomy and self-government should enjoy greater recognition, and be recognized and incorporated into the overall political structure of the country. In addition to self-government, indigenous peoples have the right to participate fully, if they so wish, in the political life of the country. I have seen some positive developments that could facilitate the political participation of indigenous peoples in this area, such as the possibility of registering independent candidacies.”

For more information in Spanish:

Relatora de la ONU constata violaciones a derechos de indígenas en Chiapas (Proceso, 15 de noviembre de 2017)

Declaración de cierre de Misión a México (Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, ONU, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Discriminación indígena persiste por falta de voluntad política: ONU (La Jornada, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Indígenas no son consultados sobre megaproyectos que afectan su territorio en México: ONU (Aristegui Noticias, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Relatora Especial sobre Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas de la ONU visita Guerrero (Boletín de prensa, Tlachinollan, Guerrero, 14 de noviembre de 2017)

Pueblos indígenas presentan recomendaciones ante ONU (Boletín de prensa, Chiapas,15 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional – México: Visita de la Relatora especial de la ONU sobre derechos de los pueblos indígenas (8 de noviembre de 2017)


National–Mexico: Visit of UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

November 12, 2017

UNSR.pngVictoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Photo@: unwomen.org

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, will make an official visit to Mexico from November 8th to 17th, 2017.

She will visit Mexico City and the states of Guerrero, Chiapas and Oaxaca to meet with representatives of indigenous peoples in order to learn about the problems that affect the communities of these territories. According to La Jornada, the main issues to be addressed will be discrimination, autonomy and indigenous territories, harmonization of domestic legislation, mega-projects, access to justice and the impact of violence on women and indigenous peoples. The Special Rapporteur will also hold meetings with government officials, the National Commission for Human Rights and the National Electoral Institute.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights underlined that “Mrs. Tauli-Corpuz is an indigenous leader of the Cordillera region in the Philippines. She has worked for more than three decades in the construction of movements in favor of indigenous peoples and is a tenacious defender of women’s rights.”

For more information in Spanish:

Guerrero en la agenda de la ONU ( Centre de Derechos Humanos de la montaña de Guerrero Tlachinollan, 6 de noviembre de 2017)

Anuncian visita oficial de Relatora de ONU sobre Derechos de Pueblos Indígenas (Proceso, 7 de noviembre de 2017)

Relatora especial de la ONU se reunirá con representantes en México (La Jornada de Oriente, 8 de noviembre de 2017)

Indígenas llevan a ONU abusos de megaproyectos; pintan al Estado mexicano como un verdugo más (Sín Embargo, 8 de noviembre de 2017)


Chiapas/International: The Zoque Believing People to Receive 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

October 28, 2017

ZoquePhoto:@Chiapas Denuncia Pública

On October 18th, 2017, a press conference was held in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, to announce that the Indigenous Movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Life and the Earth (ZODEVITE in its Spanish acronym) will receive the 2017 International Peace Prize. from the hands of the international organization Pax Christi, on October 29th in Rome, Italy.

In its press release the Zoque Believing People recognized that this peaceful movement is a call to stop the crisis of our civilization that threatens our world: “The Zoque peoples have declared themselves in permanent defense of our territories so that the different ways of life (human, animal and nature) are respected and revalued for the survival of humanity “

Their way of seeing this reality has been worthy of this award: “extractive megaprojects represent death and devastation for land and life, which is generated from above, that is, by the interests of transnational companies in their desire to accumulate material riches that only bring environmental, economic and political problems.”

They pointed out that: “For a decade now, have been trying to install mining, hydroelectric, geothermal and hydrocarbon extraction projects our Zoques in Chiapas that threaten to destroy a large part of the biocultural heritage, especially symbolic places such as the Chichonal Volcano – the house of the Piogba chuwe – and the mist mountains of Rayon and Tapalapa, but mainly large areas of corn crops, where the Zoques sustain their life, their cosmovision and love for the land are at risk because of the tender and concession of more than 160,000 hectares of land to private and foreign companies from several countries “.

This award “represents an encouragement in our journey and recognition of children, women, men and elderly Zoques who have decided to raise their voices to show the world their indignation and deep love for the land, which commits us to continue building the resistance of indigenous peoples, but it is also a message of peace and hope for all those peoples of Latin America who fight for life, water, land and territory.”

For more information in Spanish:

El Premio Internacional de Paz representa un aliento en nuestro caminar: Pueblo Creyente Zoque. (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 18 de octubre de 2017)

Pueblo Zoque en Defensa de la Vida recibirá Premio Internacional de Paz. (CDH fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 5 de octubre de 2017)

Por qué el Pueblo Creyente Zoque marcha a favor del Agua, la Tierra y la Vida. (Otros Mundos Chiapas, 19 de junio de 2017

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: El pueblo Zoque se está movilizando contra los mega-proyectos en Chiapas. (29 de junio de 2017)

Chiapas: machan ejidos y comunidades de la zona zoque contra los proyectos extractivos. (3 de mayo de 2017)

Chiapas: Libre activista zoque, Silvia Juárez Juárez. (4 de julio de 2017)


Chiapas: 5,000 Men and Women on Pilgrimage against Mining in Chicomuselo

October 17, 2017

Chicomsuelo.pngPhoto @ SIPAZ

On October 1st, in the municipality of Chicomuselo, a meeting was held in Grecia ejido to analyze the threats posed by the mining concessions for the towns of Chiapas. The following day, the pilgrimage called “Movement against Mining and the Depletion of the Earth”, called by the parishes San Pedro and San Pablo and the “Samuel Ruiz” Committee for the Promotion and Defense of the Life of Chicomuselo, took place The march-procession was accompanied by Father Marcelo Perez, parish priest of Simojovel, several other religious leaders and human rights organizations, such as the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights and the Chiapas Women’s Rights Center.

The inhabitants of the ejidos of Ricardo Flores Magon and Grecia was supported by men and women of several communities of Chiapas, some that faced a trip of twelve hours to attend the event, in its fight against projects of mining companies in the municipality of Chicomuselo. At the end, according to Proceso, 5,000 participants raised their voices and walked with banners and signs denouncing the damages caused by mining companies. The same media reported that at the end of the pilgrimage the participants concluded that: “Having heard the problems of different communities and organizations in resistance, we coincide in that our struggle in defense of Mother Earth has brought us as a consequence, omission, repression, intimidation, threats, persecution, imprisonment and killings of human rights defenders in Chiapas and other parts of the country and the world.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunidad chiapaneca repudia operación de minera (Video) (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de octubre del 2017)

“Defensa de la tierra nos ha traído represión, amenazas, asesinatos”, denuncian en Chiapas (Proceso, 2 de octubre del 2017)

Empresas mineras provocan división comunitaria en Chicomuselo (CDH Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 26 de septiembre del 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Conferencia de prensa – NO A LA MINERÍA (28 de septiembre del 2017)

Chiapas: Comunidades de Chicomuselo denuncian incursiones de empresas mineras (25 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Denuncian reinicio ilegal de actividades mineras en Chicomuselo (29 de enero de 2014)

Chiapas: marchan 2 mil personas al finalizarse el “Encuentro Chiapaneco en Unidad contra el Modelo Extractivo Minero” en Frontera Comalapa (1 de diciembre de 2012)

Chiapas: poder judicial exige que mina explotada por Blackfire permanezca clausurada (26 de octubre de 2010)

Chiapas: Amenaza de muerte al párroco de Chicomuselo (11 de octubre de 2010)

Chiapas: delegación canadiense investiga abusos de explotaciones mineras (2 de abril de 2010)

Chiapas: Matan a Mariano Abarca líder opositor a la operación en una mina (28 de noviembre de 2009)


Chiapas: “Let’s Love, Care for and Defend our Common Home, Mother Earth” Encounter

September 26, 2017

Mother Earth.pngAltar at the encounter (@SIPAZ)

From September 19th to 21st, the Encounter “Let’s Love, Care for and Defend our Common Home, Mother Earth” was held in the community of Candelaria, municipality of San Cristobal de Las Casas, in which around 300 people participated, from the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, and guests of other dioceses, organizations and churches. This space was opened “as a follow-up to the agreements of the Mother Earth Pastoral Congress, held in January 2014 as part of the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Indigenous Congress of 1974 … We gather, enlightened by the word of God, and today, with the encyclical Laudato Si of Pope Francis, who summons us to defend our Mother Earth before the destruction and the dispossession that the capitalist system exercises. That is why we meet different parishes and organizations to unite our struggles and find alternatives to care for and defend our Common Home.”

In this new Encounter, they explained, “we analyze the reality that we are living in our communities, we share experiences of struggle and resistance before the megaprojects that come from above, striving to destroy our life and our Mother Earth.” Progress was also made in the design of a plan of action at the parish and diocesan level, in order to prevent the destruction of nature.

In their final declaration, they reaffirmed “that we will stand in the struggle and intensify our actions for the defense of our territories, identity, culture and autonomy. (…) We call on civil society to organize and defend our Common Home.”

For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento final del Encuentro (21 de septiembre de 2017)

Piden crear plan de acción para cuidar la naturaleza (Cuarto Poder, 22 de septiembre de 2017)

Comunidades se unen contra proyectos mineros en Chiapas (Reporte Ciudadano, 24 de septiembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Culmina el Congreso de la Madre Tierra (28 de enero de 2014)

ARTÍCULO: Congreso Pastoral de la Madre Tierra (Informe trimestral de SIPAZ, febrero de 2014)


Chiapas: Pemex to Provide Resources in Perpetuity to Preserve the Lacandon Jungle

September 16, 2017

Lacandon.pngPhoto: @Chiapas State Government

On September 31st, from the archaeological zone of Bonampak, the general director of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya, reported that as part of its sustainability program, it will donate 25 million pesos for the conservation of the Lacandon Jungle, in order to promote the productive reconversion of the area and combat climate change.

The announcement was made during the delivery of more than 11 million pesos destined to Lacandon comuneros for 120 productive projects through different programs for environment conservation projects. As well as González Anaya, the Secretary of Finance and Public Credit, Jose Antonio Meade Kuribreña; the secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, Rafael Pacchiano Alamán and the governor, Manuel Velasco Coello were present.

“We will continue to work hand in hand with the community of the Lacandon, the Municipal Council and the Government of the Republic to generate concrete actions that benefit the jungle of Chiapas, which is the jungle of Mexico and pride of our entire nation,” Governor Velasco stressed, according to a statement from the Chiapas State Government.

In addition, the same bulletin said that was “the new authorities of Communal Goods that will make up “The Lacandon Community” were sworn into office, among which time three women were elected for the first; this conformation means the union of the three ethnicities of the region: Chol, Tseltal and Maya-Lacandon, who will work for the care of the jungle. “

It is worth mentioning that Pemex’s investments in this area represent 90 million that Enrique Peña Nieto delivered last June during the commemoration of World Environment Day.

For more information in Spanish:

Van 25 mdp para la Selva Lacandona (Diaro de Chiapas, 1 de septiembre de 2017)

Anuncia Pemex aportación de 25 mdp anuales para conservar la Selva Lacandona (Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 1 de septiembre de 2017)

Pemex anuncia apoyos para la conservación permanente de la Selva Lacandona (Pemex, 31 de agosto de 2017)

Entregan 11 mdp para la conservación de la Selva Lacandona (MxPolítico, 31 de agosto de 2017)

Recibe Selva Lacandona recursos a perpetuidad para su conservación (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, 31 de agosto de 2017)